It was a cold and windy day to be on board LST-325, but that didn't stop volunteers working on the ships deck today. Welding students from Ivy Tech repaired parts of the piece of history that have rusted due to weather over the years.
The students were not born when this great ship hit the seas in 1942. Since her construction, she has seen many parts of the world and all kinds of climates, which have taken a toll. Rust can be seen on parts of the ship, so Ivy Tech instructor John Durbin stepped in to volunteer. He says he went for a tour and the tour guide said they needed volunteers and needed some welding to do, so he gave him business card and they called in a couple days.
While this is a learning experience for students, it brings to them a sense of meaning. Something that isn't felt in a classroom. Student Ethan Lubbehusen says the ship means a lot yo him, and that he is actually a member now. He says that he'll volunteer anytime he has, because the ship is history and doesn't want to see history die.
Student Nicole Tatum also feels closeness to the ship. He says her dad is a veteran and it meant a lot to him when he found out she was volunteering on LST-325. It hit even closer to home for her when she found out the ship was built by women.
One of those women from years ago decided to visit the LST -325 when it was out sailing, not knowing what she'd find. Tour Guide Robert Pointer recalled in Pittsburgh when a lady come aboard that remembered working on the ship when it was built in Philadelphia.
John and his students started their work last week and will continue on until next week, where John estimates that each student will have spent 30 to 40 hours on broad, for a combined total of nearly 200 hours of repair performed on this beautiful ship.